There has been a great deal of discussion regarding FLW Outdoors and the sport of professional angling and I feel it is important to address the industry and hopefully put to rest any questions, concerns and rumors.
First and foremost, FLW Outdoors has and will continue to do everything possible to grow our organization and the sport. While our decisions may not always be accepted and understood, I can promise you there are many things that are taken into account prior to making them. FLW Outdoors, like most other businesses, has been affected by the downturn in the economy and again, we are doing the best we can to overcome these challenging times and stay healthy for the future. Yes, this has meant cutbacks in areas of our business as well.
We realize that this has had a significant impact on anglers and have done our best to listen and react as best we can. I want to encourage anglers to be aggressive and creative in finding ways to self-promote, whether through websites, social networks or within our television show and magazine whenever possible. Fans need and want individuals to support and follow.
We recognize the importance of this for both the fans as well as the anglers and realize this has been difficult in the past for anglers who are not sponsor-compliant with our current logo rules. Our logo rules have played a very important and valuable role in FLW Outdoors’ history. However, the landscape of our sport has changed quite dramatically and we are in the final stages of reviewing our current logo requirements in order to help the anglers promote themselves more effectively under the FLW Outdoors umbrella.
One thing that I need to set straight once and for all is this idea that “Irwin Jacobs is filling his pockets.” This simply is not true and quite the contrary. In fact, I don’t think it is a secret that I got into the fishing tournament business for the purpose of marketing and promoting the Ranger Boat Company. While this original purpose has changed since the recent purchase of Ranger, Stratos and Champion boats by Platinum Equity, I can promise you that I am as committed to growing FLW Outdoors as I was the day I bought Operation Bass 15 years ago, which ultimately was renamed FLW Outdoors.
The reason for changing our name was to allow FLW Outdoors the freedom to expand into other areas besides bass fishing which is what we have done. We’ve made some significant enhancements to this year’s events as we’ve expanded our reach into the outdoors beyond just fishing.
Our FLW Tour events now include Outdoor Expos offering a wide variety of booths and interactive games for our fans to visit and shop. This also offers anglers a prime opportunity to promote themselves. While fishing is at FLW Outdoors’ core, the outdoors in general brings a whole new level of opportunity and quite frankly, I am more optimistic about our future with this new focus than ever before.
While it is our goal to have all aspects of our business finalized and completed prior to the start of each season, it is not always possible. We are still talking to prospective sponsors and hope to continue announcing new partners as the season continues.
As always, we continue to listen to feedback from anglers, fans and sponsors, and when it makes good business sense, we’re open to making modifications. Having said this, we will be announcing some changes in the near future to better serve the anglers, fans and our sponsors, all of whom make FLW Outdoors possible.
Irwin L. Jacobs